Not quite the same as Harry Reid vowing not to believe Petraeus if he reports progress, but close enough. Well, actually, in light of the results of the second question, I guess it is the same. That’s not Petraeus’s fault — a plurality of the public approves of him personally, after all — it’s probably just the cumulative effect of one too many unrealistically optimistic assessments by the administration over the years. Which, if true, means the fact that the White House and not Petraeus is going to write the actual report will only drive the numbers down further (the poll was taken last week, before that news broke).
28% ain’t nothing, of course, although the report would likely have to be decidedly positive to flip the fencesitters in large numbers. And given the state of the Iraqi government, “decidedly positive” seems out of the question.
Radio Blogger argues that the sample is flawed, particularly the suspicious use of a half sample for these questions. I’m skeptical, but I hope he’s right. Note that the second question is conspicuously more leading than it needs to be.